Socker Coach Ron Newman was concerned his team might suffer a letdown on Sunday afternoon against the Dallas Sidekicks. After all, San Diego began the day with the best record in the Major Indoor Soccer League. Dallas had the worst.
But Newman's fears were not realized. The Sockers completed a four-game season sweep of the Sidekicks with a 7-3 victory in front of 8,029 fans in Reunion Arena.
"Of course, we're a better team than Dallas," Newman said. "But if you don't play well, these teams can beat you."
The Sockers (30-9) have won 5 straight, 7 of 8 and 12 of 14. Dallas (12-29) has lost four straight.
The game's first goal was a sign of things to come for the Sidekicks. Dallas goalkeeper Jan van Beveren accidentally kicked the ball into his own net when all alone. Hugo Perez, who was not even near van Beveren, was credited with the goal because he was the closest San Diego player to the ball.
Perez and Branko Segota each scored two goals for the Sockers. Steve Zungul had a goal and two assists, while defender Kevin Crow had two assists. Ade Coker and Jean Willrich also scored. Coker had not scored a goal since Dec. 21. He had missed 21 straight games before last Friday because of an infection from an appendectomy.
San Diego's defense played a key role by holding Tatu, Dallas' leading scorer, without a goal.
Socker goalkeeper Jim Gorsek recorded 17 saves. Zoltan Toth, who alternates games with Gorsek, had 17 saves in Friday's 8-3 win against Wichita.
"I don't know whether they are trying to one-up each other," Newman said. "Jimmy made a couple of point-blank saves that destroyed Dallas. Early in the game, I thought he was the difference."
Perez, Segota and Willrich had given the Sockers an early three-goal lead. Dallas cut the lead to one goal before Coker's score at 13:42 of the second period gave San Diego a 4-2 cushion. At halftime, the Sockers led, 4-3.
San Diego put the game away with one goal in the third quarter and two in the fourth.
The Sockers play next on Wednesday night at Tacoma.